A Benton County Sheriff’s Office detective sergeant found dead Saturday under a tree at his Eltopia home was described as always approaching his job with professionalism and concern for crime victims.
Kevin C. McCary, 47, died of a single gunshot wound. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death as a possible suicide.
Sheriff’s Capt. Clay Vannoy said the sheriff’s office was not making any statements about his death. Sheriff’s officials were seen Monday wearing black bands across their badges.
A joint meeting of the Benton and Franklin county commissions scheduled for April 21 was canceled so county officials can attend his funeral services.
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He had a lot of compassion.
Andy Miller, Benton County prosecutor
McCary, who served as a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, had been out on medical leave.
McCary’s care for victims and their families in the criminal cases he worked on, including recently, was always on display, said Andy Miller, Benton County prosecutor.
“He had a lot of compassion,” he said.
He worked for the sheriff’s office for 24 years and was named a detective sergeant in 2013.
The promotion came about the same time authorities were investigating the murder of Preston Yahne, a 22-year-old Prosser man. Miller said that case involved a number of difficult decisions and circumstances, including a judge finding Yakima County sheriff’s detectives violated Robert McCorkindale’s right to a lawyer after his arrest and threw out his statements.
McCary devised a way to independently verify McCorkindale’s co-defendant’s statements so they could be used in court. McCorkindale was found guilty of Yahne’s murder and sentenced to 17 years in prison in October 2014.
Funeral services are at 10 a.m. April 21 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Parley Building, 4618 Porto Lane, Pasco.
McCary also helped investigate the August 2015 murders of three Pasco residents, one of whom was nearly nine months pregnant and found in a field in south Benton County.
Several law enforcement agencies in two states were involved and McCary helped coordinate the case, minimizing the bureaucratic red tape that could have slowed the investigation, Miller said. Francisco Resendez Miranda was sentenced to life in prison for the murders in January 2015.
In both those cases, McCary also worked closely with the victims’ families, Miller said. One of Yahne’s relatives reached out to the prosecutor and Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane after news of McCary’s death spread to say how grateful they were for McCary’s efforts.
McCary’s involvement in the recent case of an elderly Kennewick woman kidnapped by three teens, one of them her great-grandson, also demonstrated his dedication to victims, Miller said. Though the case could easily have been pursued in Oregon, where the teens took the woman and where they were found, he worked to have the case brought back to Benton County.
“The victim would only have to travel a few miles to be in court,” Miller said of prosecuting the case locally. “Otherwise it would have meant a lot of travel for her, which she didn’t want to do.”
McCary was a lifelong resident of the Mid-Columbia, was married and had four children, according to his obituary.
A visitation is planned 4 to 7 p.m. April 20 at Mueller’s Greenlee Funeral Home at 1608 W. Court St. in Pasco. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. April 21 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Parley Building, 4618 Porto Lane, Pasco, and will be preceded by another viewing from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the state Fraternal Order of Police memorial foundation in McCary’s name by contacting any law enforcement officer.